Friday, September 18, 2009

Review and Giveaway: CVS Photobook CLOSED




I have a secret I need to confess. I'm not just a SAHM. I've been spending my nights - and days - moonlighting as a mamarazzi. *blush* I stalk my son with a camera just about 12 hours a day. It doesn't matter what he's doing. He could be reading a book, playing with the pots and pans or running around in his diaper and BabyLegs. My obsession has become so great that I've accumulated upwards of 16 GB of pictures in just under 14 months. Yeah, it's that bad.

But, sadly, I have so many that I never seem to have the time to organize them, edit them, and get them printed. Most of my beautiful pictures are just sitting in my hard drive or on an SD card waiting for their fate. And let's not even get started on Nate's empty baby book.

So, when I saw an opportunity on the PR Place to review a photobook from CVS courtesy of Today's Ellen, I jumped at the chance. I could finally redeem myself for my inadequacies in the scrapbooking department.

CVS Photo offers an unlimited number of ways to turn your memories into treasured keepsakes. There are the standard prints, calendars, collages, and greeting cards in addition to the photobooks. But there are also a wide variety of unique, personalized gift ideas you can create. There are mugs for the coffee lovers, handbags for fashionistas, etched crystals for an office or bookcase, blankets for grandma, teddy bears and onesies for the little ones or new parents. You can even customize a pet bowl for the animal lover in your life. I opted for a photobook to commemorate Nate's first year of life, starting with his birth and ending with his first birthday pictures.

The process of creating the photobook was very straightforward. I created an account with CVS Photo, which was simple and painless. Once active, I uploaded about 50 pictures to an album from my computer with their bulk uploader. It was surprisingly fast. While I didn't time it to the minute, it finished uploading my pictures in what felt like no time. I'm used to waiting all day for my pictures to upload with other programs so I was happy that I didn't have to twiddle my thumbs for long.

Once I uploaded my photos, I chose the size of my book and the material and color for the cover. You can choose from a 5x7 soft cover or 8x11 hardbound, both of which include a keyhole cover so your first photo is displayed front and center. Since I want something durable that can be passed down over the years, I picked the hardbound option. The hardbound books can be made with either a linen or leather cover, each with several color options. I decided to go with a linen cover in a cyan color. There were many page designs available, including holiday and baby themes, but I chose the timeless classic white for my memory book.

Once you've customized your cover and chosen a page design, you can begin to organize the content of your book. CVS Photo offers numerous page layouts so you can include photos - in both landscape and portrait formats - as well as title or text pages. It is very easy to change the layout or design of your book at anytime if you should happen to change your mind. You can do so with just a click or two and you don't even have to click the Back button. It's all right there on one screen. Each photobook comes with 20 pages, but you can add more pages with just one click (for an additional charge). Because I had so many pictures, I added another page to include all of my favorites. The only step I thought could be improved was the preview feature. When I previewed my book prior to checkout, I couldn't inspect the text very well, as it was too small to read. I had to go back to the "edit" screen to check my spelling and grammar. It would be nice if the preview was a little larger or allowed you to zoom in to check out your writing. Aside from that issue, creating my book was rather enjoyable.

Below is a video from Today's Ellen, which demonstrates the entire process if you're a visual learner like me:



I opted to have my book shipped to my local CVS for pick up. While I was initially told it would take 5-7 business days, it only took 3. I was pysched when I got a phone call telling me my book was ready. Of course, I love when a company overdelivers on their promise. I was very pleased with the quality of my book. The pages seem thick and the detail and color in my photos were spot on. They weren't blurry or distorted at all. Here are a few sneak peeks of the finished product:







Bottom line: I would certainly recommend using CVS Photo if you are looking to create a photo memory book or personalized gift this holiday season - or anytime for that matter. The customer service was outstanding in my opinion and the book itself will be a beautiful keepsake for my son when he grows older. And with photobooks starting at $19.99, they are budget-friendly too!

BUY IT: Photobooks and other gifts can be purchased on the CVS Photo website. Photobooks start at $19.99 for a linen cover and $24.99 for a leather cover.

DELECTABLE DEAL: Just for creating a CVS Photo account, you get 20 free prints! You still have to pay for shipping but it's still a great deal.

WIN IT: Today's Ellen has graciously offered one lucky reader their very own 8x11 hardcover photobook from CVS Photo (a $25 value)!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Tell me what you would document in your photobook. Summer vacation? Birthday? New baby? Save it for Christmas? Just leave me a comment.

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will be disqualified!

1.) Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment telling me you follow. Already following? That counts! (1 entry)

2.) Subscribe to my blog via reader or email. Must be verified to count! (1 entry)

3.) Subscribe to Today's Ellen blog via reader or email. (1 entry)

4.) Follow me and Today's Ellen on Twitter and tweet about the contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)

5.) Join Today's Ellen on Facebook (1 entry)

6.) Add my button to your site and comment with a link where I can find it. (1 entry)

7.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

Giveaway will end on October 3, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to US only. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I purchased and was refunded the cost of a CVS Photobook, courtesy of Today's Ellen. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.

119 comments:

Karen said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

This is exciting. I'm planning to put together a First Five Years book of my nephew to give to his mom and I've been trying to decide which company to go with. There are so many, but I always worry about the quality and if it will work out well. After reading this, I think I'm probably going to go with CVS. Thank you!

raveandreview said...

I would create a 1 year old book for my sweet baby. I did a book of her first 6 weeks already (can you say mamarazzi?) and am dying to get the rest of her first year done.
leanne (at) raveandreview (dot) com

raveandreview said...

I'm a subscriber via google reader :)
leanne (at) raveandreview (dot) com

raveandreview said...

I follow this blog via goggle friend connect
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janetfaye said...

I would document summer vacation photos.

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

janetfaye said...

I follow - janetfaye

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

lisa said...

I would do Vacations since that it what i have the most photos of, i desperately need to get those photos organized. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

I follow your blog. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

I subscribe. msmith572@yahoo.com

Ashley said...

I would do a book from my daughters 1st Birthday
ashy.baby@gmail.com

Ashley said...

Following on google friend connect
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Ashley said...

subscribed via google reader
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Ashley said...

Joined todays ellen on facebook
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Ashley said...

Added your button to my site under supported sites in right sidebar
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Annette D said...

I would make the Photo book for my son who is a Junior in college, highlights of his life so far.
jedoggett@embarqmail.com

Annette D said...

I follow via Google Friend connect
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Annette D said...

I subscribe to you feed
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Angela said...

I would document my son's first year of life! Then I would buy one for my daughter's first year too! THANKS!
mycreativecontainers(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie said...

What a fantastic gift! I would definitely document our summer as a family; we had so many fun experiences.

Dolphin Girl said...

I would use it to document our summer fun!

Julie said...

I'm a new subscriber!

Amy Croley said...

google reader subscriber

Amy Croley said...

google friend connect follower

Amy Croley said...

today's ellen google reader subscriber

Melissa G. said...

I'm like you, i have a ton of photos that never get printed! I'd make a book of my Ethan's first 8 months.

missylovsjesus at yahoo dot com

Melissa G. said...

I subscribe in google reader.

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

I love following the kids and taking pictures too...the ones that are natural are the best. I love making the photoboojks, from first day of school, to kids artwork, to prom

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

subscriber

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

follower

hminnesota said...

we recently came back from our vacation in Alaska. would use fotobook for that one.

tutugirl said...

I would save it for Christmas. I love making these books for the grandparents at Christmas time. A great way to share the year with them.

tutucuteforme (at) hotmail (dot) com

Kris said...

I would document my baby's first year!

kristilynngibson(at)gmail(dot)com

texasheartland said...

I would use it for family pictures to give to my Mom on Christmas- anything that deals with pictures of me, my twin, and our pets she jumps at the opportunity!



texas_heartland84[at]yahoo[dot]com

txgiggles45 said...

I would use my photobook for baby pics of when my husband was a baby and toddler living in Germany! His mom has all of his pics in the old slide projecter slides, so I'm going to have them turned into pics so I can put them in an album! Happy 1st day of Fall!
txgigggles@yahoo.com

shopannies said...

would use it to document my grandbaby first year of life

shopannies@Yahoo.com

shopannies said...

following
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Sharon said...

I would love to make an album that is all about my sweet granddaughter. She lives 500 miles away, so we can't see each other as often as we would like. But having this photo album would be special.

pinkveganmiso said...

I would document our homeschooling days. All the activities and families we hang out with.

pinkveganmiso(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sunnyvale said...

Old family photos

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I would love to have this for christmas or something. I love the idea!

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Stephanie said...

I would use it for my sons easter pictures
thegrants(at)live(dot)com

Stephanie said...

I follow
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Stephanie said...

I subscribe via e-mail
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Stephanie said...

Follow on twitter @sgrant2005 and tweet:
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Stephanie said...

Joined Today's Ellen on Facebook (Stephanie Petty-Grant)
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Rock Star Ma said...

I'd use it to document my little ones first year! :)

Rock Star Ma said...

I'm a follower. :)

Shelly said...

andrus.shelly at gmail.com

my friends and i all dressed in plaid and went on a 'cider mill crawl' and visited a bunch of mills and did a donut and cider taste test. i would make a book of those photos

Jessilyn82 said...

I'd use it to document the arrival of my new niece, these look really neat!

clenna said...

I would like pictures of my grand kids for this year. i would get their sports and the babies playing.

clenna at aol dot com

clenna said...

I subscribe via email

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clenna said...

I follow

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clenna said...

I follow through Google feed.

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clenna said...

I entered the Nursery Block giveaway.

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clenna said...

I'm a friend on FB

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scottsgal said...

I'd make a book of my son's travel baseball pitching in tournaments and at a AAA game

msboatgal at aol.com

kathy55439 said...

I would make a book about my family for the adoption agency to show kids looking for forever homes

A Frugal Friend said...

I would make a scrapbook for Grandpa - one showcasing his 2 little darling grandkids!!

Cindy B. of Montana said...

I think I'd use to make a book of the grandsons birthdays (brothers) who have birthdays in October and November.

Cindy B. of Montana said...

new follower!

Cindy B. of Montana said...

new e-mail subscriber

Cindy B. of Montana said...

also subscribed via RSS reader

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follow you on twitter(sendtocindy) and tweeted
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button on left sidebar at www.thebabblingbrooks.typepad.com

Janna @ Feed Your Pig said...

I would use this to make a book of my nephew's summer!!!

Thanks for entering me! Great Contest!

Janna Johnson
janna@FeedYourPigBlog.com
jannajanna@hotmail.com
www.FeedYourPigBlog.com

Ken said...

We'd make a tour of the house at Halloween pictorial. Please accept my entry. Thank you.

Melanie said...

I would make a grandpa book for my father in law for Christmas

melanieinaz2003 at yahoo

Melanie said...

follow you on blogger

Melanie said...

google reader subscribed!

Melanie said...

have your button in space at bottom of blog

Dizzee Girl said...

I would document my parents trip to Mexico and give the book to them as a gift for Christmas :)
happeejackee at gmail.com

Bonita12 said...

I would create the book with pics of my sons ages 3 and 6 for a keepsake.

Bonita12 said...

follow blog

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subscribe via Google reader.

Bonita12 said...

I entered LJBW Cloth Block giveaway.

terri142 said...

I would use photos from a recent trip to Disney World to make my photo book.

terri142 said...

I follow your blog.

terri142 said...

I subscribe via e-mail

idahomom said...

We spent the summer at the lake and every weekend the kids got to bring a friend. I would love to make a book about it.

Melissa G. said...

I commented on the Picnic Playground giveaway.

missylovsjesus at yahoo dot com

Melissa G. said...

I commented on the First Juice giveaway.

missylovsjesus at yahoo dot com

Melissa G. said...

I commented on the Baby World giveaway.
missylovsjesus at yahoo dot com

Katrina said...

I would document my baby's birth and first couple months =)

melissa said...

I would use it to make a family book, my grandfather recently passed away and I want my children to ahve a great scrapbook of him, my grandmother, all the generations so no one is ever forgotten. My kids are 4 and 2 and they will most likely not remember him, i want to keep his memory alove. Thanks for the chance to win

Kimberly said...

I would use this to document our summer vacation. It was our first vacation together and so much fun. :)

Darcie said...

I would document our summer vacations!
dmkayes@gmail.com

paula h said...

I would make a book with pictures that we took this summer.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula h said...

I'm a follower.

goodwitchglinda said...

I would document my twin pregnancy & birth. It was such a special experience & I want to look back on it in a nice book. Thanks! goodwitchglinda at gmail dot com

Auriette said...

My inlaws have been asking to see photos from our vacation to England a year ago. They don't have a computer, and we don't have a very good printer. If I win, I'd make a photobook and send to them.

JACLYN said...

I would like to document our next vacation.
firstrosegrrl@yahoo.com

angie said...

We had a little family getaway in Minneapolis over Labor Day weekend. We took a lot of pictures...I'd love to put them into one of the photo books.

chazvgo said...

I would use it for pictures of my sons 2nd birthday party :)

naynays1 said...

What a fantastic gift! I would definitely document our summer

lil.blessing said...

I would highlight the year in it!
lil.blessing(at)gmail(dot)com

Girly Remix said...

We're going to have a huge Halloween party for all ages! This would be so neat to have to remember all the costumes and the kids. :)
GirlyRemix(at)gmail(dot)com

Girly Remix said...

I am now following your blog! :D
GirlyRemix(at)gmail(dot)com

Jinxy and Me said...

I would make a book of our trip to Dallas.

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm following your blog!

Brian said...

I would save it for a Christmas present- maybe keep it for myself.


fooks213@yahoo.com

Meet the Browns said...

We are going on our first Disney cruise next week--this would be a great way to easily scrapbook all of our pictures!

Katie
showbizkp[at]gmail[dot]com

Meet the Browns said...

I follow on Blogger :)

Katie
showbizkp[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan said...

I would use the CVS Photo Book to make a gift for our kids and grandkids to send to their great-grandfather who lives too far away to see often. He's going to be 90 soon and this would make a wonderful gift.

taylor said...

Document things for my son and kitty

taylor said...

Subscribed via email

taylor said...

Following thru google connect

07violet said...

I'd probably use vacation photos

alterna7 at hotmail dot com

07violet said...

following

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07violet said...

subscribed by reader

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subscribed to Today's Ellen by reader

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kathy pease said...

i would do a book with my daughters graduation pics that was a very special day :)

kathy pease said...

following your blog as klp1965
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http://twitter.com/klp1965/status/4589823519

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joined ellen on facebook kathylpease

Sue said...

I would create a photo book of my daughter's wedding that took place last Saturday

marinelsue@gmail.com

purango said...

I would use it for my daughter's birthday photos. garrettsambo@aol.com

Erica G said...

I would document my nephew's first year of life for my sister!

egreca (aT) hotmail {dot} com

Gianna said...

I want to make an album of my twins' pregnancy and first year :)

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